Sunday, 26 March 2017

Fab Firsts - Q&A with Jessikah Hope Stenson

Fab Firsts is my new regular Sunday feature, that is going to be highlighting books that are firsts. When interviewing authors, it will be about their first book, as well as other firsts in their lives. When reviewing books for this feature, there will be a mix of debuts, first books in a series, the first time I read an author, and possibly other firsts depending on what I can think of!

If you are an author wanting to take part in Fab Firsts then please do email on gilbster at gmail dot com and I'll whizz the questions over to you.

I hope you enjoy this look at a variety of hopefully fabulous firsts, while making some sort of dent in my review and paperback TBRs which are my current main focus!

Please welcome Jessika Hope Stenson who will be talking about Trace This Scar today.

1) Can you tell us a bit about your first book? 

Trace This Scar is about a woman named Daphne who is convinced her husband is innocent of murder. When he is serving his time in prison Daphne starts to try and move on with her life and meets a man called Jamie but the past keeps chasing them and starts informing their future.

2) What was your original inspiration to become a writer, and to write your debut?

 I love keeping people guessing and giving clues to I’ve also loved writing dark stories with lots of twists. The first line of Trace This Scar – “I knew he was innocent from the start” – just came to me one day and I went from there.

3) How long did it take you to write your first book? 

Around three months for the first draft then many months of re-writing and editing. All in all from the first day of writing to publication it was just under a year which is insanely fast in the publishing world.

4) If you could do anything differently in retrospect, what would you change about your debut, or how you went about writing it? 

I think I’d have slowed the pace a little as many readers have found it quite a whirlwind to devour. I’d take the time to explore some of the more subtle aspects, like poverty and drugs.

5) Was your first book self or traditionally published, and how did you go about making that decision? 

Sort of in between. I published with Excalibur Press who ‘traditionally’ published me however they are primarily a vanity publishing company. I say ‘traditional’ in quotes because I got a lot more creative control than most traditionally published authors do – such as when it came to choosing the cover and marketing plan.

6) Do you have any tips for other first time authors? 

Don’t be afraid to publish, especially if you’re young. I used to think I’d need to be at least 45 to have the experience to write a good novel but I don’t think anything, even age, should hold you back. Just go for it.

Tell us about your first…

7) Holiday you went on 

Down in North Devon when my parents went hiking and my dad carried me on his back the whole time.

8) Sport you enjoyed participating in 

Gymnastics. Whenever the Olympics is on I always wish I’d stuck with it or could go back in time to being able to throw myself through the air.

9) Time you were in trouble 

The first memory I have of being in trouble was when I was around four years old and a girl in my nursery bought in a Barbie ball for show and tell. I decided I wanted it and tried to take it home… 

10) … time you felt like an adult 

Paying my first gas and electricity bill… or Maybe signing a housing contract (eek!)

11) Dish you cooked 

Probably a curry. I am from Birmingham after all and I went through a phase when I first learnt to cook of having curry around three nights a week.

12) ..time you bought or received flowers 

Still waiting for this first (cough boyfriend cough)

Well I hope you got some flowers for Valentines this year, and wow yes paying utility bills probably would make anyone feel like an adult. Thanks so much Jessikah for answering my questions.

About the author

Jessikah Hope Stenson is an author, book blogger and journalist. She currently studies English at the University of Exeter where she is also the Editor-In-Chief of PearShaped Music Magazine. In her spare time, she enjoys slam poetry, listening to Paramore and curling up with a good book.

Link to my book:


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